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  October 17, 2005 VOL. 43, NO. 18Oakland, CA

articles list

Diocese implements new norms for Mass celebration

Frequently asked questions about receiving Holy Communion

L.A. Archdiocese releases files of accused priests

Father Vincent Scott named pastor
at Assumption Parish, San Leandro

Concord parish reaches 50-year milestone

Chautauqua XIII: A multi-cultural celebration

Five new seminarians begin study
for priesthood in Oakland Diocese

Four priests appointed to help increase
vocations in various ethnic communities

Dominican Sister receives two national honors for leadership

Rite of Candidacy
in permanent
deacon program

Presentation Sisters conclude celebration of 150 years

World leaders respond to students’ letters of thanks

$20,000 reward offered to find killers of young
Berkeley parishioner

Christian Brother Mel Anderson
turns actor in ‘Inherit the Wind’

























Diocese implements new norms for Mass celebration

As the Diocese of Oakland joins with others throughout the U.S. in the implementation of General Instruction of the Roman Missal, local priests and lay persons are reviewing liturgical principles, evaluating parish liturgical celebrations and, where necessary, adapting to new norms for the celebration of the Eucharist that include some changes in when to stand or kneel during Mass.

Parishes are called to review points that have been in the General Instruction since its initial edition (1969); among these are understanding full, conscious active participation, the use of silence in the liturgy (for example, following the readings and the homily, after the invitation “Let us Pray”, and after all have received Communion) and the practice that “all receive the Lord’s body from hosts consecrated at the same Mass and that . . . they partake of the chalice so that even by means of signs Communion will stand out more clearly as a participation in the sacrifice actually being celebrated.”

The norms are intended to insure that the liturgy is celebrated consistently and well throughout the Church.

By Nov. 27, the first Sunday in Advent, all parishes in the Oakland Diocese will have adopted the new norms, according to a directive by Bishop Allen Vigneron.
The changes are in accord with the third revision of the Roman (Rite) Missal, approved more than three years ago, and prescribe the postures and gestures to be used during Mass as well as materials for altars and sacred vessels.

Some of the more detailed changes involve the reception of Holy Communion. Communicants are to approach the priest or Eucharistic minister standing and to bow their heads as a gesture of reverence before receiving the host either on the tongue or in the hand. The sign of reverence is also made before receiving the Precious Blood.

“The faithful are not permitted to take up the consecrated bread or the sacred chalice themselves and still less hand them on to one another,” according to directives approved by the U.S. Catholic bishops because they receive Communion. They do not take

The priest and congregation are to observe a period of silence for private prayer after Communion has been distributed.

Ministers of the cup may consume what remains of the Precious Blood at the altar, and they may help the priest clean the sacred vessels after Communion at a side table or after the celebration of the Mass.

The periods of standing and kneeling during the Mass have changed in the new norms. The congregation sits during the preparation of the gifts, as usual, and then rises after the priest extends his hands and invites all to pray saying, “Pray, brothers and sisters.”

| The people stand to say, “May the Lord receive…” and remain standing until completion of the “Holy, Holy.”

During the Eucharistic Prayer the faithful kneel until the Great Amen has been proclaimed. In the Diocese of Oakland, the assembly is asked to stand from the beginning of the Communion Rite (immediately after the Great Amen) until after receiving Communion.

Communicants may then stand, sit or kneel after receiving Communion.
When health reasons or other factors make kneeling impossible, congregants should make a deep bow when the priest genuflects after the words of institution.

The priest gives the Sign of Peace to ministers serving near the altar but is to remain within the sanctuary so as not to unnecessarily prolong the Sign of Peace. On special occasions - such as a funeral, a wedding or a Mass where civic leaders are present - he may offer the Sign of Peace to a few persons near the sanctuary.

Fixed altars are to be made of stone or, in the U.S., of wood “which is worthy, solid, and well-crafted,” the instructions state. The materials for sacred furnishings are acceptable if they are durable and “considered to be noble,” and sacred vessels - such as the paten, monstrance and ciborium - are to be made of precious materials that are solid and durable, such as metal or hard woods like ebony.

The full text of changes made in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is available online at www.usccb.org/liturgy/girm/fil2.shtml.
Further information about implementation in the Oakland Diocese is available at: www.oakdiocese.org/pastoral/Liturgy. Click on Liturgical Formation.

When receiving Communion, the communicant bows the head and answers “Amen” to the minister’s words, “The Body of Christ.”


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